Let’s be real here: distractions are a daily problem for writers. It doesn’t matter what kind of writing you are doing, how far you are into your project, or what time of day you started writing. There will always be a distraction (or two) waiting to pounce. These distractions can range anywhere from your favorite YouTuber releasing a new video to a particular strand of your own hair that just refuses to stay in place. However, I believe that there are three specific distractions that can be especially detrimental to writers:
- Background Noise
All three of these impact most of us daily and can effectively halt our writing progress, unless… we learn how to avoid them.
The internet is the one of the most if not the most distracting item on our list. We access our favorite social media sites, search engines, and writing blogs on the internet. It contains an endless amount of content that is available to us with the click of a button. And it is something that we can access easily through our cellphones and computers, which we usually have near us while we write.
Of course the easiest thing you can do to avoid the internet is stay off devices that are connected to the internet… duh! Unfortunately, that can be harder to do than you might think. People in this day and age are addicted to the internet and everything that comes with it. Instead of just telling yourself you will stay off your devices while you write, I would suggest you use an app that will block the internet or certain apps on your device for however long you schedule it for. There are a number of options out there, but they will all help you accomplish the same thing, so just choose whichever app you think will work best for you. Here are just a few you can choose from:
We love those special people in our lives, but sometimes they can keep us from our writing… I am in no way saying that we should prioritize writing over people! But that story has to get written some time, and it certainly isn’t going to write itself. You need to be able to find time for both people and writing.
Luckily, people can usually be easier to avoid than our previous distraction, the internet. Set a specific time everyday aside for writing and let your loved ones know that the time, an hour or more, is assigned for you to get your writing done. Then close your door, turn off your message notifications (so that any people that don’t know about your set time won’t be a disturbance), and write away! Also, if you are a parent with young infants and children I recommend taking advantage of your child’s naptime to write.
If you live in an apartment complex, an area near a busy street, or simply have an active neighborhood, then background noise is probably your arch nemesis. With all those squealing tires, barking dogs, squeaking gates, laughing children, booming car stereos, etc. how in the world are you supposed to get any writing done? You aren’t! No, I’m just kidding, I’ll tell you how.
You can simply slip on those headphones, blast your favorite music, and the background noise will fade to a faint whisper. Also, if you don’t like listening to music while you write you could wear headphones or earmuffs just to cover your ears and block at least part of the noise. There are also compilations of white noise you could use if the headphones by themselves aren’t helpful.
I hope this was helpful! If any of you have other suggestions on how you can avoid these distractions, or any others, then please put those suggestions in a comment below.